At the beginning of the holiday I was faced with weeks of blank canvas, and wondered how the hell I was going to entertain her. After all, we've got quite different hobbies. She likes making mud pies, eating worms, and climbing trees, whereas I have refined tastes, such as quaffing Bolly and eating reindeers. To all intents and purposes, it appeared that never the twain shall meet.
How wrong was I? She only said "I'm bored", once (when I was demonstrating how to change a wheel bearing), and we ended up having an absolute blast. So much so, that it was with a heavy heart that I dropped her off on her first day back at school.
Pic.No.1 Izzy's first day back at school. She has got this thing where she pulls her ankle socks up so that they finish half way up her shin. I told her that she looks like a geek, but she won't have it
But Huzzar! It wasn't all doom and gloom, because the week before Izzy went back to school, I managed to fit in another sneaky holiday. Apologies ....... I know I am going backwards ..... I'm confusing myself, if that's any consolation.
Back to the holiday. It all came about because I was chatting on the phone to my northern chum, Sarah.
"I'm knackered," she said, "I need a bloody holiday." [Sarah is always knackered you see. I am going to get her a t-shirt made with 'I'm knackered' printed on the front].
"Let's do it!" I shouted. "Where do you fancy going? Beirut? Machu Picchu?"
"I'm a bloody teacher," she replied, "I can't afford to go paying for flights willy nilly."
"So what are you suggesting?" I asked suspiciously.
"That we go somewhere in the UK," she suggested.
Blimey. That was a bit rad. I stared blankly into the middle distance for thirteen whole seconds before asking (perplexedly), "but why would we have a holiday in the UK? It's crap. Proper holidays have planes involved."
"It's the UK or nothing," Sarah stated resolutely, "but I will find us somewhere cool to stay."
"Ok ....... Deal," I said, acquiescing in the face of resolutednessness.
"And my friend Gary would also like to come," she added.
"Double deal," I replied. [Marvellous. Gary was a teacher at the same school as Sarah, and a cracking laugh].
True to her word, Sarah managed to procure a holiday destination down in the south of England (in the county of Cornwall-shire), and because I am like Mother Theresa, except that my bra has got more up-lift, I have got some photographs for you .............
Pic.No.2 The holiday posse. Izzy, Gary and Sarah. If she wasn't 7, I would have suspected Izzy of having met-amphetamine on her thumb
Pic.No.3 The holiday destination ....... the southern-most tip of the UK ...... Cornwall
After a five hour drive (we could have flown to Moscow in that time), we finally arrived at the Par Sands Holiday Site, where Sarah had booked us a caravan for the week.
It was with trepidation that I registered our arrival with the site's reception, because the last time I had stayed in a caravan, I had found someone else's toenail clippings on the bathroom floor, and the whole place smelt of dog piss.
Pic.No.4 Man alive, was I pleasantly surprised when we entered our caravan? (which looked like a wooden lodge from the outside) ...... this was the lounge area
Pic.No.5 This was the kitchen. It was like a trendy Manhattan apartment. Sarah did good when she chose this one
Pic.No.6 This was the bedroom that Izzy and I shared. It had a dressing room and an en-suite bathroom ..... in a caravan! I know! [gratuitous use of exclamation marks forgiven under the cirumstances?]
Pic.No.7 This was the view of Par Bay from our caravan window. We were a minute's walk from the beach but I didn't go there because it was gritty and there were bits floating in the sea
Pic.No.7a This is what our lodge looked like from the outside. (ok, it's not our exact lodge. I nicked this picture off the internet. But our lodge was very similar)
After arriving, we all slumped on the sofas, recovering from the long drive ... and then debated what we should do tomorrow. We pored over the brightly coloured tourist brochures that were displayed in the caravan.
Following much pondering, luckily, I won. Not being one for sunbathing, I suggested that we visit a Tin Mine (that'll keep the rays at bay). And Gary and Sarah were up for it ..... so here goes dahlink ................
Pic.No.8 The was the entrance to the car park of the Poldark Tin Mine
Pic.No.9 This is Gary and Izzy posing outside the entrance to the Tin Mine itself
Pic.No.10 Just inside the Poldark Tin Mine complex, there was this beautiful piece of machinery ..... a 'tin crusher' powered by a water wheel
Pic.No.11 The whole Tin Mine had been beautifully landscaped and was probably a highly sanitised version of the original mine
Pic.No.12 This was the entrance (the underground bit) to the Poldark Tin Mine. You can see the tower with the big, red pump on it ....... I am not sure what it pumped
Pic.No.13 Aha, it's me and Izzy waiting to enter the depths of the mine
Pic.No.14 The hooligan had what appeared to be a woefully small head. It took us ages to find a helmet that fit her
Pic.No.15 These ancient tools were displayed in the entrance of the mine. Apparently there was pre-historic evidence of tin being mined in this area. Not only that, records relating to this particular site go back until 1493 AD. That's older than my house which was built in 1546 AD
Pic.No.16 Finally, we entered the mine itself .....
Pic.No.17 It was a myriad of small tunnels ...... and although the lights were powered by electricity, in the olden days, the only light would have come from the dim tallow candles mounted on the brim of the miner's helmets
Pic.No.18 Hurrah, I love pictures with me in
Pic.No.19 Tunnels, tunnels everywhere ....... if you want to do a 'Lord Lucan' .... Poldark Tin Mine is the place to go
Pic.No.20 The tunnels went on for miles ..... and dropped 190 feet into the ground .........
Pic.No.21 Even Sarah had to crouch down to get through some of the tunnels. And she is a short-arse measuring just 5'1" (154cm)
Pic.No.22 Gary heads down the tiny stairs into the bowels of the earth .........
Pic.No.23 And it kept on going down ...... and down
Pic.No.24 Hurrah! It's me again. I am nearly at the bottom of the mine
Pic.No.25 If you look up at the fractures in the rock, you can see how the staircases have been threaded into the seam ..... amazing. But even more amazing is the fact that when the mine was still active, the miners used to descend using wooden ladders ....... there were no staircases
Pic.No.26 The miners used to work in these small holes, extracting the tin with a hammer and chisel. Once they had exhausted their supply, they would dig another hole in the rock to begin the process again
Pic.No.27 This is Gary's bum. He was working his way upwards from the depths of the mine (through a tiny tunnel that we had to crawl through). There was water gushing down the steps as we tried to ascend
Pic.No.28 We finally reached a chamber towards the top of the mine. It had a postbox in it. The Poldark Tin Mine claimed that this was the 'deepest postbox in the UK', and as such, had a distinctive postmark
Pic.No.29 As we exited the Tin Mine, we passed an exhibition which showed that the miners had close links with the US and Canada ..... apparently the early miners had gone over there to show how mining should be done
Pic.No.30 After emerging from the darkness of the mine ..... we were met (again) with pretty gardens
Pic.No.31 More gardeney type stuff
Pic.No.32 But then the fun commenced. Sarah noticed that there was a 'gold panning' activity just outside the tin mine. So we all immediately bought a ticket. This is a picture of Iz panning for gold / gems
Pic.No.33 This was Sarah panning for Gold / gems .... it got competitive quite quickly
Pic.No.34 The minute the gold panning started, Gary never looked up. He was a man on a mission
Pic.No.35 Bloody hell ..... we managed to find loads of gems ...... unfortunately none of them were worth anything
Pic.No.36 And finally we headed back to the caravan where Sarah instigated a game of Scrabble with Izzy. That's the bonus of going on holiday with teachers .... instand child entertainment. Woo hoo!
So dahlink, I have more Cornish tales to come .... but in the meantime, what have you been up to in your holidays?